Tuesday, November 12, 2019

lamb of God

The story of the ground lamb continues.

I had bought a kilo of lamb qeema (mince; it's apparently an Indian word, not Arabic) from the foreign-food mart, which is run by people who vary in look and style from Middle Eastern to South Asian. They sell certain meats for surprisingly cheap, lamb included. Lamb qeema is readily available, and since I had bought about a kilo of it and had used only a fistful for my Crotch pie, I had a ton left. I also had plenty of leftover Middle Eastern-style oil/butter seasoning, so I dumped almost 1.5 cups of that into the lamb mince... which was, of course, way too much to dump in there. But I was ready for that contingency: I also poured in a pile of panko crumbs, then mixed everything together into one, big, happy loaf. I stuffed the loaf into a large Ziploc bag, re-molded it into a pillowy, gyro-friendly rectangle, let the meat sit in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to allow the panko to hydrate and to absorb oil, then transferred the Ziploc bag into my freezer.

When I got home from work after swinging by a grocery store to buy gyro materials (except for the flatbread—I'll be going cheap and buying tortillas in the morning), I took out the now-frozen lamb loaf and sliced the lamb into thin strips for the purpose of pan-frying. When I normally make gyro meat, I use a 50-50 combination of lamb and beef, so I knew that this would be a bit of a departure. Some purists might shake their fingers at me for using a bread filler in my meat, but that only means I'm doing Amurrican-style gyros, whose meat also often contains cereal fillers. Don't sweat it: gyros aren't haute cuisine.

And what a surprise when I started cooking the meat! I really liked the flavor: with no beef getting in the way, and with the panko actually gentling and smoothing out the taste and texture of the lamb, the meat's deliciousness blew me away. I think I might do this from now on, whenever I might make gyros next. I had thrown the panko into the lamb qeema on purpose, but I didn't have a clear idea of what that might do to the final product. All I can say is wow. That was a happy accident, and the lamb was celestial.

So I've fried up all the meat. In the morning, I'll crumble the feta, shred the lettuce, slice the 'maters, then take everything along with me to work—meat and tzatziki (also awesome) included—where I'll buy tortillas and have myself some dang gyros for lunch. I might even invite my coworkers to join me, although most of them are on various diets right now in an attempt to avoid liver and intestinal issues. Their loss if they say no.


Charles said...

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis saporem.

Kevin Kim said...

You'd have made for a good, tasty, pre-Vatican 2 Catholic.

Charles said...

Transubstantiation for the win!